Tech

February 16, 2019 12:16AM PT Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on
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Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster
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MADRID — Telefonica’s Movistar +, the biggest pay TV-SVOD service in Spain, is feeling the Netflix effect. And for the good. Following Netflix’s launch on Movistar + on Dec. 11, more than one third of new subscribers to Movistar, Telefonica’s telephony, internet and TV service, have taken the new Netflix option. 35% of established clients
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Streaming-audio giant Spotify shelled out around €300 million, or about $337 million, to buy podcasting companies — producer Gimlet Media and services provider Anchor FM Inc., the company said. The deals for Gimlet and Anchor, announced last week, were primarily in cash, with the total purchase prices subject to closing adjustments, Spotify disclosed the figure in
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February 14, 2019 4:01PM PT Victoria Beckham will launch her own YouTube channel in time to live-stream her London Fashion Week show on Sunday. The former Spice Girls star-turned-designer will add a range of content about her brand to the channel. Starting with her autumn-winter show, it will also feature behind-the-scenes footage of the workings
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Overtime, a digital sports-media startup focused on high-school athletes, has raised $23 million in Series B funding as it looks to expand its content footprint and diversify its revenue base. Venture-capital firm Spark Capital led the round, which brings the two-year-old company to $33.5 million raised to date. Others participating include MSG Networks; Sapphire Ventures; Charles
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Online video platform provider Brightcove is acquiring longtime competitor Ooyala for $15 million in cash and stock, the company announced Wednesday afternoon. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year. As part of the acquisition, Brightcove will get its hands on Ooyala’s software platform, technology and intellectual property. The company
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European Union negotiators agreed Wednesday on codified language in a new set of sweeping copyright-reform rules — including a provision that would mandate YouTube and other internet platforms block copyrighted material when it’s uploaded. YouTube in particular has been particularly vigorous in opposing the proposed changes to the laws. The finalized text of the rules
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Cord-cutting inflicted a heavier toll on big cable and satellite TV providers last year — and analysts expect the pain to continue into 2019. The five biggest U.S. pay-television providers saw their traditional subscriber rolls shrink 4.2% in 2018, as they collectively lost around 3.2 million customers for the year. That’s an acceleration from estimated sector-wide declines
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February 13, 2019 8:16AM PT Digital entertainment firm Wattpad and talent agency Huayi Brothers Korea have partnered to adapt Wattpad stories for film, TV and digital outlets. Wattpad, an online community of readers and writers, will use machine learning software to sift through the 565 million stories it houses. The selected stories will be adapted
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CuriosityStream, the streaming service launched by Discovery founder John Hendricks, has raised about $140 million in private-placement funding. Stifel Investment Banking acted as sole placement agent, with new investors including Blum Capital Ventures and TimesSquare Capital Management. In December 2017, Hendricks said he had invested nearly $100 million in CuriosityStream. CuriosityStream offers more than 2,000
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Apple will be holding its first press event of the year on March 25, Buzzfeed reported Tuesday afternoon. The event is said to be focused on services, and may include the announcement of a news subscription plan. The iPhone maker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple plans to hold the event in
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ABC is moving its Oscars red-carpet preshow from Facebook to Twitter for 2019, marking the first time “Oscars All Access: Red Carpet Live” will be streamed live exclusively on Twitter. Twitter’s live stream will be available at @TheAcademy account on Oscars Sunday, Feb. 24, starting at 6:30pm ET/3:30 p.m. PT. For Twitter — which has been pushing to
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February 12, 2019 11:05AM PT Video game publisher Ubisoft is working with Mozilla to develop an artificial intelligence coding assistant called Clever-Commit, head of Ubisoft La Forge Yves Jacquier announced during DICE Summit 2019 on Tuesday. Clever-Commit reportedly helps programmers evaluate whether or not a code change will introduce a new bug by learning from
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February 12, 2019 8:00AM PT Variety is launching its first-ever Silicon Valley summit with Silicon Valleywood, a half-day exploration into the convergence of technology and entertainment. Beginning April 23 at the Rosewood Hotel in Menlo Park, Calif., Silicon Valleywood will bring together leaders from both the Hollywood and tech communities in an effort to spark conversation
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Netflix has started production on “Ares,” its first Dutch original series, the streaming giant announced Tuesday. Filming is taking place in Amsterdam, where Netflix’s European headquarters have been based since 2015. “Ares” will launch on the platform later this year. An eight-part psychological horror, “Ares” stars Jade Olieberg, Tobias Kersloot, Lisa Smit, Robin Boissevain, and
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Amazon announced the acquisition of home mesh router maker Eero Monday afternoon, with executives from both companies painting it as a way improve connectivity in people’s homes. Amazon said that the deal was subject to customary closing conditions, and did not disclose an acquisition price. “We are incredibly impressed with the Eero team and how
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February 11, 2019 12:24PM PT Facebook is getting ready to launch its Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset soon, if a duo of new FCC filings is any indication. Two filings for the headset’s touch controllers passed the FCC on Monday, roughly 45 days after the headset itself made an appearance in a similar regulatory
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